Mapping the Business Landscape
By John Bolden
“A Map of the Business Landscape Provides a Firm Foundation for Establishing Direction and Making Decisions about What Is, What Will Be and What has to Happen in Between…”
Essentially, the absence of clarity and cohesion about which processes and information sets intersect, interconnect and interrelate across the business (any business) is a major reason why so many good, worthy efforts to improve the business fail to meet expectations. Time after time, surprises arise:
- Processes that were not part of the original scope pop up everywhere, how and why these processes exist is one question, how and why these processes were not part of the original scope is another question entirely!
- Information repositories elsewhere in the organization already contain the information that this project will be creating from scratch!
- New Process need is addressed from a linear, insular perspective – collateral outcomes of processes elsewhere in the organization that are of value by being copied/reused or avoided at all costs are ignored!
- This project will change part of the business on this date for this reason; the fact that another project will make changes to that part of the business the day before will be a surprise - the day after!
- That project experienced significant problems deploying a certain piece of functionality into the business; this project wants to deploy the same functionality into another part of the business!
- Ad infinitum!
The reason for the absence of clarity and cohesion is not hard to pin down; there is no overarching view of how processes and information hang together. By extension, there is no easily seen, understood and grasped view of what is, what will be and what has to happen in between. Consequently, there is no foundation that assists the business to make the best decisions about how to best improve the business.
A map of the business landscape ensures that systems, processes and information repositories across the Business are visible to those who have to keep the business running and those who seek to improve the business. With a map of the business landscape; management has a firm foundation for establishing direction and making decisions as to sequence, priority, budgetary and resource allocations for future business improvement projects. Mapping the business landscape is neither complex nor time consuming; typically, assignments start out by mapping the critically important components of the business first; thereby enabling management to take advantage of quick wins.
If you are wondering how and why processes and information repositories would be created without making sure they fit together neatly and seamlessly - ask for a copy of my thought leadership text: ‘Information/Process Silos – The Bane of the Enterprise’
If you would like to learn more about the seminar themes I speak to, types of consulting engagements and research that underpins my thinking, feel free to browse my web presence at http://www.TLIRGroup.com
RMA, Mil C, C/MBB-ISSSP. F-IICM, F-IPMS
Transformation Leadership, Innovation & Research
John Bolden is renowned for value laden advice that stakeholders depend on when assessing the wisdom of investing billions. John’s views and observations enable corporate leaders to ask the right questions, probe problematic answers and avoid surprises.